What You Don’t Know About The Dark Web Threatens Your Business

Business leaders typically operate under the misconception that a cyberattack plays out like a war movie. Hackers try to breach the defensive walls, and either they are repelled or enter the city (your network). It’s all the out-in-the-open live action.

But the truth about digital intruders is that many slip under your cybersecurity radar and copy data. Then they pivot and sell your valuable information on the dark web. What industry leaders should be worried about stems from the fact you may not realize a breach occurred for months, even years.

For example, Citrix software company reportedly sustained a 5- to a 6-month breach in 2019 that exposed upwards of 200,000 user profiles. Marriott International discovered it had been under assault for four years only after the personal identity information of more than 500 million guests had been pilfered off. One of the primary reasons hackers hide within your systems is that they can continue to mine your data and sell it on the dark web. That’s why it’s essential to understand what the dark web is and how to know if your organization’s sensitive files are up for sale.

What is the Dark Web?

It may shock you to learn that everyday users have access to less than 1 percent of the internet. As 1-percenters, we can surf about 4.5 billion indexed web sites. The other 99 percent — known as the deep web — require passwords and permissions. The vast majority of these sites are legitimate protected platforms. But embedded in the deep web are criminal gathering spaces where hackers buy and sell illegal items such as the following.

  • Credit Card Information: Ranked among the best selling items, skimmed or stolen credit and debit card information can always be purchased on the dark web.
  • Research Files: Since the pandemic hit, health care records, medications, and medical research have been hot-trending items.
  • Intellectual Property: Manufacturing research and development and trade secrets are popular digital assets brokered on criminal platforms.
  • Security Plans: Facility blueprints are often listed by hackers and purchased by physical burglars.
  • Financial Information: Bank records are top-tier digital assets and dark web profit-drivers. But tools to blackmail business professionals or engage in identity theft are also available.
  • Login Credentials: Selling employee usernames and passwords allows a garden variety of hackers to access your network and draw data from it like water from a well.

Some cybercriminals even use the dark web like Craigslist by posting hacking services that could target your organization.

How to Know if Your Digital Assets are For Sale on the Dark Web?

If you stop and consider that hackers could unwittingly breach fortune 500 companies such as Marriott International for years, what does that say about the cybersecurity defenses of small, mid-sized, and even reasonably large organizations? It says that a need to know whether you have been hacked exists.

Based on reports of long-term breaches and corporate giants have been outsmarted, proactive business leaders are now performing due diligence. The average company cannot successfully search the unknown number of dark web platforms for various reasons. First, gaining access requires specialized search tools. Second, these illicit platforms have some of the most hardened defenses, bar none. Even if you or an IT technician were to penetrate the dark web, these sites are rife with viruses that could bring your network to its knees.

That’s why thought leaders are reaching out to third-party cybersecurity professionals with dark web experience. Having an expert scan the dark web for personal identity and business data could be the only way to prevent your digital assets from being sold and used by bad actors. Unless you believe your cybersecurity has been more impenetrable than Marriott, Equifax, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter, and other household name outfits that were breached, the only way to ensure your organization’s safety is to have a dark web scan performed. For more information about dark web scans and monitoring, contact Servcom USA today.